The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) is committing to a new program that could spur on business in Ohio. According to the Newark Advocate, the Administration will supply funding to businesses in the Appalachian counties, as well as some in other areas of the state.
Specifically, a series of “clusters” in the state will give wood products businesses various kinds of support. The source notes that around $22 billion of the state’s annual economy traces back to the wood products industry, making it an important sub-section of the local market.
As an area of focus, this sector could see growth thanks to the presence of the clusters, which add to the two already present in the state. Ohio’s clusters date back to the beginnings of the program five years ago.
In addition to the large role it plays in the economy, forest products also account for a total of 118,000 employees in the state, both part and full-time. Of the sub-sectors within this industry, the largest is pulp and paper production, responsible for more than $15 billion in the annual Ohio economy and 65,300 employees.
An article on the official SBA website features comments from Maria Contreras-Sweet, the organization’s administrator, on the nature of these clusters and what they’re supposed to do.
“Clusters are public-private partnerships that are driving innovation and job creation in our most promising regional hubs for innovation,” she writes. “We’ve built a strategic infrastructure of financing and consulting networks in key cities to help new companies launch and small companies grow.”
With appropriate government grants for small businesses, owners in all industries should feel entitled to grow and flourish, taking advantage of available resources.